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UW Track & Field Teams Conclude Regular Season in SPU Invitational at Husky Stadium
Release: 05/09/2000
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May 9, 2000

SAT., MAY 13 - UW Track & Field at Seattle Pacific Invitational
9:00 a.m., Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash.

FRI.-SAT., MAY 13-14 - Pacific-10 Conference Multi-Event Championships
Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

This Week: One Washington athlete begins conference championship competition this weekend while the remainder of the team has a final tune-up at home before the Pacific-10 Conference meet. The Husky track & field teams compete in the Seattle Pacific Invitational on Saturday, May 13 at Husky Stadium. That marks the final regular-season action for Washington with the Pac-10 championships (May 20-21) and NCAA championships (May 31-June 3) looming. Senior Jacob Predmore helps kick off the Pac-10 Championships, competing in the on Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14 in Eugene, Ore. No UW women are scheduled to compete in the heptathlon. The entire Husky team participates in the Pac-10 Championships the following weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21 at Oregon's historic Hayward Field.

SPU Invitational: Athletes from throughout the Northwest converge on Husky Stadium for the annual Seattle Pacific Invitational. Among the other colleges expected to participate are Washington State, Eastern Washington, Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran, Portland and Portland State. The meet begins with the women's hammer throw at 9 a.m. The women's 5,000-meter race is the first track event, at 11:30 a.m. The final event on the slate is the men's 4 x 400 relay at 3:55 p.m.

Pac-10 Multi-Events: The multi-event championships (decathlon/heptathlon) take place this weekend, preceding the other Pac-10 track & field championship events by a week. No UW athletes will compete in the heptathlon while Husky senior Jacob Predmore makes his second Pac-10 appearance in the decathlon. Predmore ranks third among Pac-10 competitors and No. 6 nationally after amassing a 7,406-point total on April 26-27 at the Drake Relays. Last year, Predmore placed sixth among conference decathletes (6,444). Defending champion Bevan Hart of California returns, entering with a 7,620-point qualifying total that is tops in the Pac-10. Five of the top six finishers from the 1999 Pac-10 decathlon are expected to compete, including Hart (1st, 7662), Oregon's Santiago Lorenzo (2nd, 7150), USC,'s Casey Thompson (3rd, 6772), USC's Russell Silvers (5th, 6629) and Predmore (6th, 6444). The last Washington athlete to win the conference decathlon crown was Mike Ramos in 1986.

Proud Pac-10 Tradition: The Pac-10 has produced some of the world's most outstanding decathletes, including Bob Mathias (Stanford) who captured Olympic gold in both 1948 and 1952. Another former conference competitor, Rafter Johnson (UCLA) won the 1960 Olympic gold medal. Washington's Mike Ramos won the 1986 NCAA decathlon championship along with three Pac-10 titles (1983, 1984, 1986). Ramos established an NCAA decathlon record of 8,322 points at the 1986 Pac-10 meet that lasted for 13 years before being broken last year by Tennessee's Tom Pappas (8,463).

Prolific Predmore: Senior Jacob Predmore (Duvall, Wash./Cedarcrest HS) makes his second Pac-10 championship meet appearance this weekend. The conference meet marks only the fourth decathlon competition for the former long jump and hurdle specialist who has trained the last three years for the treacherous 10-event competition. Predmore qualified for the Pac-10s with a career-best 7,406-point total at the Drake Relays (April 26-27). That NCAA provisional qualifying mark is the fifth-highest in Husky history, ranks No. 3 among conference competitors and is the nation's sixth-best figure this season. Predmore placed sixth at the 1999 Pac-10 meet with a score of 6,444. He has qualified for the Pac-10 meet in four individual events, the long jump (23-11 1/2), triple jump (47-11 3/4), 110-meter hurdles (14.53) and 400-meter hurdles (52.81). Predmore placed 16th in the long jump (21-8 1/4) at the 1999 Pac-10 championships.

Back on Track: Junior Ja'Warren Hooker is back on track, literally, after struggling through an injury-plagued 1999 campaign. He was sidelined until mid-April of the 1999 season with a stress fracture in his left shin and was unable to defend the 1998 NCAA Indoor 55-meter championship he won as a freshman. That was the first NCAA track title for a Husky since 1988. Hooker placed third in the 200 meters and fourth in the 100 at the 1999 Pac-10 championships, but did not compete at either the 1999 NCAA Indoor or Outdoor meets. So far in 2000, Hooker finished sixth in the 60- (6.68) and 200-meter (20.67) events at the NCAA Indoor meet and was named the Western Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. He clocked NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 100- (10.18w) and 200-meter (20.23) events and was named Pac-10 Athlete of the Week on April 17 and May 1. He won the Drake Relays 100- and 200-meter races to earn the Maury White Award at the meet's top male. As a freshman, Hooker was named the 1998 Pac-10 male track and field Athlete of the Year. He became the first double-event winner in Husky history at the 1998 conference championships, winning the 100- and 200-meter titles. After opening the 1998 outdoor season with 21 consecutive sprint victories, Hooker was beaten for the first time in the finals of the NCAA 100-meter championship in Buffalo, N.Y. where he finished third. Also during 1998, Hooker established a new school record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.18. He is the first Washington track & field athlete to garner Pac-10 Athlete of the Year honors since 1976 when the award was introduced. Hooker played receiver on the Husky football team his first two years (1997 & 1998). As a freshman in 1997 he scored four touchdowns, including an 89-yard kickoff return at Arizona the first time he touched the ball as a collegian. Hooker appeared in eight games during 1998, catching nine passed for 78 yards before a shoulder injury ended his season.

Record Breakers: Three Washington school records have fallen this year. The 19-year-old men's 200-meter mark fell on April 15 when junior Ja'Warren Hooker clocked a time of 20.33 in Tempe, Ariz. That shattered the previous UW standard of 20.46 established by LaNoris Marshall in 1981. Hooker shaved another .01 off that record on May 6 in Provo, Utah, registering a time of 20.23 that ranks No. 7 among all-time Pac-10 sprinters. The 11-year-old men's 5,000-meter record was eclipsed on March 26 when junior David Bazzi posted a time of 13:47.63 at the Stanford Invitational. Bazzi bettered by nearly six seconds the previous record of 13:53.45 set by Alan Hjort in 1989. Sophomore Sandy Erickson improved her women's pole vault record by eight inches with a clearance of 12-11 1/2 on April 29 in Eugene, Ore. Erickson's previous best was a mark of 12-3 1/2. Additionally, Hooker matched his 100-meter mark on March 26 at Stanford, but it was a slightly wind-aided mark that does not qualify for record purposes. Hooker established the Husky 100-meter record of 10.18 seconds on May 2, 1998, replacing Pablo Franco's mark of 10.26 that had stood since 1975.

Big Ben: Washington senior Ben Lindsey has secured his fourth consecutive invitation to the NCAA championships, reaching the automatic men's discus qualifying standard with a heave of 198-11 on March 18 at UCLA. Lindsey boasts a career-best mark of 202-7, thrown on March 28, 1998 in San Diego, that is the third longest in Washington history. The school record of 214-7 was set by Borys Chambul in 1976. The three-time All-American battled a late-season bout with mononucleosis last year, but still managed to finish third in the shot put (60-2) and fifth in the discus (182-9) at the 1999 Pac-10 meet. He placed 19th in the discus at the 1999 NCAA championships after finishing fifth in 1998 and ninth as a freshman in 1997. Lindsey posted an automatic qualifying shot put mark of 62-6 3/4 on April 1 at Washington State. He was the 1998 Pac-10 shot put runner-up and finished fifth (62-5 3/4) at the 1998 NCAA Indoor championships. His personal-best shot put mark of 65-4, registered on May 2, 1998 at Husky Stadium, was the second best effort in Husky history and trails only the school record 65-11 set in 1979 by Steve Summers. Lindsey won the Washington state high school discus title three times and claimed two prep shot championships.

Awesome Anna Aoki: The Washington women's team features one of the finest women's distance runners in the nation, junior Anna Aoki (Vancouver, Wash.). She secured her third consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships berth with an automatic qualifying 10,000-meter time of 34:07.93 on March 25 at Stanford. Aoki has also reached the NCAA provisional standard in the 3,000 meters (9:38.57) and 5,000 meters (16:28.30). Aoki won the 1998 conference 10,000-meter championship and was the Pac-10 runner-up in 1999. She registered a career-best time of 34:05.30 on March 27, 1999 at Stanford, the third-fastest 10K time in Husky history. At the 1999 NCAA Outdoor championships, Aoki placed 19th (36:54.34) after finishing 17th in 1998. Aoki has qualified for NCAA Indoor championship competition on three occasions in the 5,000 meters. She raced to a 13th-place performance in 1997, 12th in 1999 and 14th in 2000. Aoki has been a mainstay of the UW women's cross country team that qualified for each of the last three NCAA Championships and placed 14th in 1997, ninth in 1998 and 13th in 1999.

Spear Specialist: Sophomore Justin St. Clair is the latest in a long line of Washington javelin standouts, having reached the NCAA provisional standard with a mark of 230-1. He placed 12th at the 1999 NCAA Championships with a heave of 219-1. His career-best effort of 231-3 is the ninth longest mark in Husky history. St. Clair placed third at the 1999 Pac-10 championships (224-5) after finishing seventh in 1998 (209-0). He was named the Pac-10 men's athlete of the week on April 6, 1999. St. Clair won seven of the 10 javelin competitions he entered last season, placing second at the Drake Relays and third at the Pac-10 championships. He topped the 220-foot plateau in eight consecutive meets. Since 1970 when coach Ken Shannon began training Washington javelin competitors, a Husky won 10 of 30 conference men's titles. The most any other conference school can claim is five. Add in 1987 Pac-10 women's titlist Helena Uusitalo, who won the 1986 NCAA title, and Washington athletes have accounted for seven AAU/TAC national javelin championships and three NCAA titles. Also, three UW individuals have earned U.S. Olympic Team berths, including Duncan Atwood twice (1980, 1984). In 1989, Darryl Roberson set an American collegiate record of 249-6 with the new javelin. Washington has had at least one men's or women's javelin competitor qualify for the NCAA championship meet and place among the top 13 during 16 of the 18 years since the NCAA began sponsoring women's sports in 1982.

Coaching Staff: While Washington boasts a bevy of standout athletes, the coaches will also draw a great deal of attention this season. The Husky men's and women's track teams are coached for the third season by Orin Richburg, a nationally-acclaimed mentor who will serve as head coach of the U.S. National men's track & field team at the 2001 World Championships in Winnipeg. In 15 years as head coach of the Washington women's team, he compiled an impressive 69-24-1 dual-meet record since his arrival in 1986. The UW women's team ranked among the top-10 dual-meet teams in the nation every year during the 1990s. Richburg's 1988 Husky women's squad finished 10th at the NCAA championship meet, the best national finish in the school's history. His Washington teams have produced 10 conference and two national individual champions. The UW throwers will be tutored for the 32nd, and final, year by assistant coach Ken Shannon who will resign following the 2000 collegiate season. Shannon, who stepped down in 1997 as head UW men's coach after 29 seasons, tutored his Husky throwers to 10 NCAA championships and eight Olympic berths since arriving at Washington in 1968. The UW distance runners are in the capable hands of former Husky All-America steeplechase competitor Greg Metcalf, a 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist. Metcalf coached the women's cross country team to an unprecedented three straight NCAA championship berths. Joining the staff this season as an assistant coach is former 400-meter world record holder and 1968 Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Evans won the gold medal in the 400 meters with a time of 43.86. That record stood for 20 years until being eclipsed in 1988 when Butch Reynolds ran 43.29. Evans earned a second gold medal in 1968 as part of the United States' 4 x 400-meter relay team that clocked a time of 2:56.1 that also stood as a world record for 20 years.

2000 NCAA Indoor Recap: Two individuals represented Washington in three events at the 2000 NCAA Indoor Championships, March 10-11 in Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Ja'Warren Hooker placed sixth in both the 60-meter dash (6.68) and 200 meters (20.67). He was the 55-meter champion in 1998. Anna Aoki made her third NCAA Indoor appearance, placing 14th in the women's 5,000 meters (16:47.32).

Last Week (BYU Tri Meet Recap): Junior Ja'Warren Hooker won the 100 meters and eclipsed his own three-week-old Washington record in the 200, helping the Husky men's track and field team win the Brigham Young Tri-Meet on May 6 at BYU Track. Hooker clocked a winning 200-meter time of 20.23 to shave .10 off the school standard of 20.33 that he established on April 15 in Tempe, Ariz. The previous Washington 200-meter record, a mark of 20.46 set by LaNoris Marshall in 1981, had endured for 19 years. Hooker's time of 20.23 is the second-fastest among NCAA competitors this season and ties him for the No. 7 spot among all-time Pacific-10 Conference competitors. He raced to a winning time of 10.29 in the 100 meters. The Huskies won 10 of 19 men's events en route to their 155-point winning total. Host Brigham Young finished second with 142.5 points followed by Utah State with 85.5. BYU won the women's competition with 168 points. The UW women had a 127-point second-place tally followed by Utah State with 87. Senior Sesilia Thomas claimed two women's event titles for the Huskies with winning efforts in the shot put (49-11 1/4) and discus (142-5). Sophomore Kelsey Sheppard placed second in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.29 that is the fourth fastest in Husky history. She improved her NCAA provisional qualifying status with the nation's 13th best time. Husky senior Jacob Predmore won two events, earning victories in the men's long jump (22-3 3/4) and triple jump (47-11 3/4).

NCAA Championship Qualifying Procedures: Marks which reach automatic standards guarantee berths to the 2000 NCAA Championship Meet, May 31-June 3 in Durham, N.C. If there are not enough automatic qualifiers to fill out the fields, individuals with the next best marks receive NCAA bids, provided they reached the provisional standard.

Husky Qualifiers: Fourteen Washington athletes have reached NCAA qualifying standards in 20 events, including senior Ben Lindsey who has ensured his fourth consecutive NCAA championships appearance. Lindsey reached the automatic men's discus standard with a heave of 198-11 and hit the shot put standard with a mark of 62-6 3/4. Junior Ja'Warren Hooker hit the automatic standards in the men's 100 (10.18) and 200 (20.23) meter events. Hooker placed third in the 100m at the 1998 NCAAs, but did not qualify in 1999. Senior David Bazzi earned his first NCAA berth in the 5,000 meters (13:47.63). Senior Anna Aoki competes for the third straight season in the NCAA women's 10,000m (34:07.93).

1999 NCAA Recap: Washington sent four women along with two men's qualifiers to the 1999 NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho. In men's competition: Justin St. Clair placed 12th in the javelin (219-1) and Ben Lindsey was 19th in the discus (165-8). In women's competition: Cecilia Barnes finished 11th in the discus (169-3), Deeja Youngquist (36:24.33) and Anna Aoki (36:54.34) were 17th and 19th in the 10,000 meters and Keisha Griffis was 19th in the 400-meter hurdles (1:01.01). Both men's NCAA competitors return along with Aoki to compete for the Huskies in 2000.

Next Week: Sat.-Sun., May 20-21 -- Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships, Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

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